Two Ages, the novel under review, tells the story of a family whose fortunes span the immediate post-Revolutionary Age, a period characterized by honour, loyalty and passion, and the advent of Modernity, where a rational dull conformity prevails. Kierkegaard used the review to present a devastating analysis of his own society, in which identities were being lost and ideals displaced by an all-consuming envy. He foresaw that the outcome of this process would be to confront people with a stark choice between an empty existence and devotion to God.
Ostensibly, A Literary Review is a straightforward commentary by S&øren Kierkegaard on the work of a contemporary novelist. On deeper levels, however, it becomes the existential philosophers far-reaching critique of his society and age, and its apocalyptic final sections inspired the central ideas in Martin Heiddegers influential work Being and Time. Embraced by many readers as prophetic, A Literary Review and its concepts remain relevant to our current debates on identity, addiction, and social conformity.
S&øren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was born in Denmark and wrote on a wide variety of themes, including religion, psychology, and literature. He is remembered for his philosophy, which was influential in the development of twentieth-century existentialism. A Literary Review is one of the few works Kierkegaard wrote under his own name.
S¢ren Kierkegaard (1813-55) was born in Copenhagen, the youngest of seven children. His childhood was unhappy, clouded by the religious fervour of his father, and the death of his mother, his sisters and two brothers. Educated at the School of Civic Virtue, he went on study theology, liberal arts and science at university, gaining a reputation for his academic brilliance and extravagant social life. He began to criticize Christianity, and in 1841 broke off his engagement to concentrate on his writing. Over the next ten years he produced a flood of works, in particular twelve major philosophical essays, many written under noms de plume. By the end of his life he had become an object of public ridicule, but he is now enjoying increasing acclaim.
Alastair Hannay was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, the University of Edinburgh and University College London. In 1961 he became a resident of Norway and is now Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo.